Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese top swimmer Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên is confident she will change her medal’s colour at the upcoming Asian Games (ASIAD) in Indonesia.
It is the second time Viên has competed in the Asian event. In the Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea four years ago, Viên brought home two bronze medals in the women’s 200m backstroke and 400m medley.
Now she’s gunning for gold.
To prepare for Indonesia’s event, Viên, 21, has had intensive training in the US.
“The ASIAD is an arena which is quite different from the Southeast Asian Games,” said Viên.
“I have to face strong rivals from powerful countries in swimming including Japan. I met Japanese swimmers in the recent world championships and felt their strength so I am under pressure.
“However, I have prepared carefully for this event for several years and now I am ready to compete. I hope I will do my best to gain gold medal to bring the joy for my family and country.”.
In Indonesia, Viên will compete in the 200m medley and 400m medley.
“They are my strong events so I focus them for the Asia’s biggest tournament. My best result in the 400m medley is 4:36.85 which I set in the qualifying round of the Olympic Rio 2016. I hope that I will beat this,” Viên added.
Her coach Đặng Anh Tuấn said: “Viên clocked a time of 4 minutes and 38 seconds in the 400m medley in a recent swimming event in the US. As planned, I set a target of 4:33 to 4:34 for her in the Asian tournament.”
According to Tuấn, Viên’s arch-rival in the Games is Japanese Shimizu Sakiko. At present, the results of Viên and Sakiko is the same so Tuấn said he hoped Viên can go better than before.
Viên, the golden girl of Vietnamese swimming, had a good year in 2017. She seized eight golds along with three records at the Malaysian Southeast Asian Games in August and then won two golds, one silver, and set a new record at the Asian Indoor Games and Martial Arts (AIMAG) contest in September in Turkmenistan.
Viên, from the southern province of Cần Thơ, won a gold medal in the 400m individual medley category at the 2016 Asian Swimming Championships in Japan.
In August 2015, she competed in the FINA Swimming World Cup and brought home one silver in the women’s 200m medley and two bronzes in the 400m individual medley in the event’s first and second legs in Moscow and Paris.
With an arm span of 1.78m, which is more than her height of 1.7m, Viên has all the advantages of a swimmer.
Before heading to Indonesia, Tuấn shared that Viên was depressed as she was under pressure in the process of preparing for the ASIAD.
“We asked doctors to cure her during three months. Fortunately, she is fine and ready to compete in Indonesia,” said Tuấn.
“I think that Viên will overcome herself and complete her training goals,” said Tuấn.
Viên has undergone several training sessions at the GBK Aquatic Centre sports complex in Indonesia.
She is expected to gain medals for the Vietnamese delegation at the ASIAD 18, along with other Vietnamese swimmers such as Phạm Thanh Bảo, Nguyễn Hữu Kim Sơn, and Nguyễn Huy Hoàng.
The Việt Nam sports delegation at the ASIAD consists of 532 members, including 352 athletes. It aims to snatch at least three gold medals, with at least one in an Olympic sports category.
The ASIAD this year will be officially held in the two major Indonesian cities – Jakarta and Palembang – from August 18 to September 2, with the participation of athletes from 45 countries and territories.
At the previous Games, Việt Nam pocketed one gold, 10 silver, and 25 bronze medals, ranking 21st in the overall medal tally. — VNS